Spare Tire Maintenance
by Pat Goss
Typically pickup trucks have their spare tires mounted underneath the bed. That means that you need to make sure that you have everything that’s needed to get that tire down on the ground so you can use it in case you have a flat. Now the first thing, especially if you’re buying a used truck: make sure all of the apparatus for lower in the tire is in the truck. Because without that, you’re going to have a real time lowering that spare. Now, additionally, here where the equipment goes through the bumper, usually there is a lock assembly. You open this up, and you use the ignition key or the additional key to unlock it, it comes out, and you can put the tools in to lower the tire. Well you need to take this out periodically, spray lock lubricant into the lock assembly itself, and lubricate the back of it. It’s a good idea sometimes just to coat the whole back of it with something like wheel bearing grease. Because these will rust and you can’t get them out.
Now the other thing that you want to do is you want to look at the tire and the mounting assembly itself. Now the first thing that you’re looking at is, down here you’re looking at the condition of the attaching cable and the piece that goes through the tire. Many times they’ll be badly rusted like this one. Then you lower the tire and look at the top. Now the wheel collects all kinds of junk, and many times, the cable, the wheel itself and so on…this may be rusted to the point where it isn’t even useable. So you have to check it, keep it clean, keep it protected. You can use an anti-corrosion on the wheel. That’ll keep it from rusting, so that it can be used. That way, if you have a flat, you can deal with it.
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